, Salem, MA

Local News

November 14, 2013

Current owner sues Creese and Cook over pollution costs

DANVERS — The owner of a polluted former tannery site on Clinton Avenue is suing the former owner in Superior Court to recoup a share of the cleanup costs.

The former Creese and Cook tannery site is on the Environmental Protection Agency’s Superfund list, as one of the nation’s most contaminated sites.

Nicholas Decoulos, an attorney who lives in Gloucester, is suing to get a contribution from Creese and Cook for a portion of the cleanup costs he owes the state, about $207,500. It’s the amount the state has said Decoulos is liable to pay.

Creese and Cook was dissolved, however, in 1990. For the purposes of Decoulos’ claims, the corporation was revived for one year starting on Sept. 16.

Decoulos’ involvement in the site dates to 2003 when a trust, of which he was the sole beneficiary, bought the property, according to court records.

According to the complaint, Creese and Cook operated a tannery both on the Clinton Avenue site and directly across the Crane River on Water Street from 1914 to 1984.

“In the course of that operation, (Creese and Cook) disposed of and released hazardous materials, including arsenic, chromium and dioxin, among other substances, into the soil and groundwater at the site. ... It also may have disposed of and released such materials into the Water Street property and Crane River,” the lawsuit alleges.

Decoulos never operated the tannery or caused the contamination, according to the lawsuit.

Creese and Cook also abandoned a beamhouse used in its tannery operations, a building that contained “asbestos-containing materials,” according to the suit. In 2004, the Danvers building inspector ordered Decoulous to demolish the beamhouse, and he complied.

Decoulos was found liable in court in 2011 for the cleanup costs, but he argues that he is paying more than his fair share. He wants Creese and Cook to pay part of the costs.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News

AP Video
Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins
Comments Tracker